Housing Tarot: The Suit of Brown Shingles

Brownshingles are one of the Bay Area’s oldest styles. They represent the earth, nature, wealth, organizations and institutions. Look for the sunflower and the uneven slate sidewalks.

Accessory Dwelling Unit of Brownshingles

Two oxen move a cottage up the hill to a new foundation pad. New beginnings and success in the earth realm: health, wealth, and happiness.

Upright: Incremental development, Improvisation, Going carbon neutral.

Reversed: Unfunded mandates, Scarcity, Off the grid.

Duplex of Brownshingles

Behind the duplex driveway, a bridge leads to a stair in the woods. Bridging two worlds, the only thing constant is change.

Upright: Country living, Back to the land, Trails and paths.

Reversed: Primitive infrastructure, Supernatural horror, Wildland urban interface.

Threeplex of Brownshingles

An old brownshingle has been expanded for more homes and solar power. This represents the past, present, and future. Work and perserverance leading to progress.

Upright: Green tech, Science, Grassroots organizing.

Reversed: Planned obsolescence, Superstition, Anarchy.

Card artwork inspiration: Lothlorien Co-op, Berkeley

Fourplex of Brownshingles

A pair of buildings houses four families in a bucolic setting. Boundaries, structure, and the cyclical nature of the passage of time in the earth realm.

Upright: Ecotourism, Harmony, Romantic pastoralism.

Reversed: Short term rentals, Sloth, Suburbia.

Fiveplex of Brownshingles

Cops face off with the community, who have linked up to defend their homes. Depletion of resources, scarcity, being run down and impoverished.

Upright: Community organizing, Defense, Rent control.

Reversed: Landless peoples, Last stand, Market failure.

Sixplex of Brownshingles

Two buildings are raised up to add additional housing below. Small successes. Taking the time to acknowledge achievement after hard work.

Upright: The middle class, Upgrading, Breaking ground.

Reversed: Debt, Materialism, Construction delays.

Sevenplex of Brownshingles

Cottages surrounds a clearing in the woods. Neglecting what needs to be done. Failing to act because of fear.

Upright: Smol towns, Earth spirits, Forests.

Reversed: Cult of domesticity, Isolation, Tree problems.

Eightplex of Brownshingles

A long building follows the curve of road up the hill. Keep what is scared protected. Proceed with caution. About to emerge, but not quite yet.

Upright: Long periods of growth, Expanded horizons, Hills.

Reversed: Diminishing returns, Being overwhelmed, Erosion.

Card artwork inspiration: Apartment building on Canyon Road, Berkeley

Nineplex of Brownshingles

This village of fine homes rises up the hill alongside stairs. Strength and success that comes from seeing the results of previous efforts.

Upright: Wealth, Accomplishment, Stairs.

Reversed: Social stratification, Arrogance, Accessibility challenges.

Card artwork inspiration: Panoramic Hill, Berkeley

Tenplex of Brownshingles

This apartment complex is designed to look like a medieval village. Health, wealth, and happiness. All the gifts of the earth realm.

Upright: Built to last, Deep time, Revival of old styles.

Reversed: Outdated, Static society, Problematic history.

Card artwork inspiration: Thornburg Village, Berkeley

Mixed Use of Brownshingles

A row of shops and upstairs apartments serves a trolley stop. Discover what you need in this world and make plans to find it.

Upright: Entry level jobs and homes, Pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, Morning.

Reversed: Cramped spaces, Dead ends, Evening.

Card artwork inspiration: Retail building at Claremont and The Uplands, Berkeley

Transit Oriented Development of Brownshingles

A tram pulls into the station, located under a hotel. Follow the signs and move toward what you want.

Upright: Light rail, Prosperity, Business travel.

Reversed: Lost heritage, Boom and bust, Mass layoffs.

Card artwork inspiration: Key Route Inn, Oakland

Dormitory of Brownshingles

An old hotel finds a second life as student housing. Remain true to yourself. Allow yourself to be seen in all your imperfection.

Upright: Academia, Mixing science and art, Underground creeks.

Reversed: Being restless, Drugs, The underworld.

Card artwork inspiration: Cloyne Court Hotel, Berkeley

Social Housing of Brownshingles

The tower in the village: a ring of shophouses circles this tower block. Solitary and all-knowing. One who has come out on the other side of struggle and will protect their success.

Upright: Affordable housing, Permanence, Density.

Reversed: Waitlists, Persistent problems, Concentrated poverty.